Cocaine’s Early Death Stroke

Upper middle class young professionals who use cocaine recreationally are responsible for a massive increase in emergency admissions for strokes and heart attacks in Australia, Sydney specialist Dr Gordian Fulde told reporters this week.

The head of emergency services at St Vincent's Hospital in Darlinghurst said high achieving types ‘who think nothing of doing a few lines on a weekend’ were driving the trend which the Sydney Morning Herald said matched the 45% increase in cocaine possession busts between September 2008 and September 2010.

''We have seen young girls - pretty young things aged 17, 18, 19 - who have had strokes because the blood vessels in their heads constrict,'' Dr Fulde told the Herald.

''We see patients with angina, chest pains which radiate up and down the left arm. It makes people feel awful. That's the most common thing we get from cocaine. Often when we test them for heart muscle damage we find they have had a heart attack,” he added. (Sydney Morning Herald: )

The Australian doctor’s latest warnings came just as British authorities pledged to take steps to counter ‘the "increasingly common" idea that cocaine is a relatively safe drug’, according to the Guardian. The paper also noted that Britain remains at the top of the European charts for usage, following a 400% increase in 16 to 24 year old users in the last decade.

Discussing drug policy in the same newspaper two days later, however (in an article about boosting happiness), leading columnist Simon Jenkins called again for legalization.

“My advice for the happiness lobby? Start with drugs,” the former Times editor pleaded.

“The greatest misery caused by the state to the greatest number of people in Britain is, I have no doubt, by the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act. It takes a random selection of variably harmful substances and fails to regulate or curb their use, merely criminalising, imprisoning and wrecking the lives of tens of thousands of users, at an enormous personal and public cost,” he explained.

“Every sane politician who deals with this law knows it to be bad. Yet it is not reformed because that would take a degree of political courage, which is another way of saying that the happiness of the many is not allowed to interfere with the contentment of the few – in this case politicians.” (Guardian: )
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Cocaine’s Early Death Stroke
Cocaine’s Early Death Stroke
Reviewed by Merlyn Rosell
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Rating : 4.5